June 6, 2018 at 1:39 pm #755852ktfranParticipant
I hope the people suggesting the LW request payment never need a helping hand in their life. Ever.
From the original post and updates, these are the facts in simple terms:
1. Sister asked LW to help her out and babysit her kid overnight because the normal watchers are going to be out of town.
2. LW said no, but was guilt tripped (shame on them for that), so amended her statement to say, no, unless absolutely necessary and you can’t find anyone else.
3. Sister called back up and said she couldn’t find anyone else and asked for help again.
4. LW wrote into this site.
Everyone is making so many assumptions on the laziness and entitlement of the sister when all she is looking for is some help from the LW. Of course the LW has every right to say no, and next time, will know better and stick to her original no and leave zero room for negotiation.
The lack of empathy responders are showing make me really sad. Now is the time to show more empathy in the world, not less.
As an adult, I’ve helped so many friends and coworkers with their pets or children and never expected anything in return, nor asked. Maybe I’m doing it all wrong and start demanding compensation.June 6, 2018 at 1:44 pm #755856OracleGuest
I do not think you are selfish. There is a difference between being selfish and being a chump. You live in a place where there are at least two hospitals. Most medium, to large cities have agencies that have vetted and bonded babysitters/nannies that could stay overnight. If your mom wants and enjoys doing free child care, fine. This was not an emergency until your sister made it so. You said you would babysit so you should. I am not buying what your sister is saying. I will say it again, babysit when you want to babysit barring true emergencies.June 6, 2018 at 1:45 pm #755859VathenaGuest
Ha @Fyodor, I noticed that too. I have definitely noticed that since becoming a parent, my empathy is firing on all cylinders. 😉June 6, 2018 at 2:00 pm #755870SoniaGuest
As a seasoned aunt, with 4 sisters, 3 who have kids and the 4th is about to have her first, I think LW you need to have some more compassion. I don’t have kids, which at first was a choice but now I actually can’t. I get to sit around on Fridays with a glass of wine watching old episodes of Buffy because I can. My sisters can’t, esp not my single mom sister with two kids. So one Friday a month I do an overnight with my niece and nephew. The same niece and nephew, when ages 4 and 6 took turns being awake one night where I managed one hour of sleep before they were picked up and I slept my whole Sunday away to catch up. (They’re 9 and 11 now, so much easier). The truth is of course you can say no, and it is VERY CLEAR you want to say no. So don’t line up excuses why not, just say no.
I just think you’re not seeing the bigger picture of the benefits of saying yes, esp when one day if you have kids you can take turns helping each other out, which my sisters do.June 6, 2018 at 2:46 pm #755873NikitaGuest
You have plans, enjoy your trip.
If she asked earlier then you could have gone on another date, but she is very late and its rude that they are both pushing.
That she is family doesnt matter one iota.June 6, 2018 at 2:48 pm #755875mmayhemGuest
You should watch your nephew. I babysat a lot when I was younger for my sister-in law/step brother. Now that I am older and have children of my own, they babysit a lot for me and even my niece babysits for us. You never know when/if you will need help from your family, and it is good to offer help to them when they seldom request it. Can your nephew spend the night at your place so you not as inconvenienced?June 6, 2018 at 2:48 pm #755876SpaceyStephParticipant
I think the thing that changed for me is understanding the importance of a village. Young, single, healthy people with no responsibilities get by without needing a village, but I really started to see it when my SIL and BIL had twins at 28 weeks and had people helping them as they spent hours upon hours at the NICU and then brought home tiny and still slightly sickly babies after that. People would sign up for time slots just to come hold the babies so my SIL could take a shower or have a nap.
But its not only people with kids who need a village. People whose houses flooded during Hurricane Harvey needed their village to show up at their soggy houses to strip drywall and help them go through their destroyed belongings.
People who have had health issues or need major surgery needed their village to bring them food and help them around the house.
Any one of us could need that village at any point. OP maybe hasn’t needed her village yet. But she could get hit by a bus tomorrow, and don’t you think her sister would bring her food or her mom would help her out of bed in the middle of the night to get to the bathroom if she couldn’t do it on her own? I bet she would. You earn a village, in part, by being the village for others. Be the village.June 6, 2018 at 6:07 pm #755920Northern_CoastMember
+1 for the „you don‘t have to do it“-camp.
In general, that is. Unfortunately for this particular weekend, you‘ve told your sister „If you absolutely can‘t find anyone else, I‘ll do it.“
I can tell you right now from my experience at work with swapping shifts: If you make that kind of statement, it‘ll be interpreted as „Yes, I‘ll do it.“ So take that as an advice for future conversations with your sister and also for your job at the hospital.
I think this time you should probably do it, because your sister really doesn’t seem to have another option right now.
Also, if there‘s an emergency, of course I think you should help.
Apart from that, though, I think your reasons for not wanting to do it are absolutely valid. I don‘t see it as you looking for „any excuse“ to get out of it, and I especially don‘t see it as a lack of empathy! Don‘t let some of these comments get to you. You have already helped with babysitting many times before, so it‘s not like you never do your sister a favour.
I completely understand working hard and looking forward to a weekend of camping, instead of quietly watching TV by yourself, hoping that the kid won‘t wake up.
Also, you having to give your dog for the night is kind of a big deal! It’s a hassle, and also it‘s YOUR dog who happens to live in your house, and it‘s stressful for the dog and annoying to you that you have to remove him/her.
In the future, it‘s probably best if you say right away, „no, sorry, I‘ve got other plans.“ Any attempt to justify or discuss it will make it easier for her to pressure you. I know, easier said than done – I‘m also still working on saying „no“.June 6, 2018 at 6:42 pm #755928AngeGuest
Oh my god this thread, seriously.
Maybe if LW’s family wanted to lean into it taking a village they could have been a little more respectful of LW’s plans and time instead of trying to guilt her into next week for having a life. A really good way to get a resentful babysitter is to make them feel obligated to do so. How often is LW likely to want to deal with this later after the current shitshow? I know I’m not particularly amenable to doing further favours for people who wield ‘family’ like a weapon.June 6, 2018 at 7:25 pm #755935SkyblossomParticipant
I don’t think you are in any way being selfish in not wanting to change your own plans. You have a right to have plans and a right to not be forced to change them because someone guilts you. It isn’t selfish to have a life. I’m saying that as a parent of two. I never pressured anyone to watch my kids. I can’t imagine pressuring someone who is reluctant to watch either of my kids. It can’t be a good situation. It might be time for your sister to come up with more depth for babysitting, especially for overnight.
I also don’t think it is selfish or rude to expect to be compensated for your expenses. I grew up with the idea that if someone did you a favor it shouldn’t cost them money. Where I live it is standard to compensate someone for any expense incurred for a favor. It isn’t selfish or rude. It shows someone that you understand what they are doing for you and that it costs them and that you want to make sure that it costs nothing more than their time. This isn’t you making a profit off of your sister. This is you being compensated for the expense you would incur for the care of your dog while providing free care for her son. Also, if you have a babysitter around here you provide the meals. Even at daycare you send meals along with your child and you are paying the daycare to watch your child. You doing a favor for your sister shouldn’t include you spending your own money to compensate someone else for doing something like caring for your dog that you aren’t doing because of the favor. The same for losing money on camping. If you’ve paid for camping and are losing that money then she should compensate your for that. It is only fair. It isn’t greedy. You don’t ask someone to lose a deposit because you need them to help you. You ask how much it cost and give them the money without them needing to ask. That is what people do when they are appreciative of the help and when they understand that a sacrifice is being made for them. You giving up your plans is you making a sacrifice. You are the one being inconvenienced and you are the one who is being forced to give up their plans. It shouldn’t also cost you money. You shouldn’t be paying out of your pocket to do her a favor. She isn’t working for free. She expects to be compensated.June 6, 2018 at 8:25 pm #755949Dear WendyKeymaster
When you fail to show up for people you love when they need you most — especially when they ask you so rarely to show up — you better hope they have more compassion (or a short memory) when you will inevitably want or need them to show up for you.
Yeah, it sucks to lose a night you were looking forward to chilling out, especially when you really need to chill out, but you have the next night and the next weekend or the weekend after that. It’s one night. If your sister starts taking advantage of you and you think she’s asking you to show up more than is appropriate, speak up and let her know your boundaries.June 6, 2018 at 8:41 pm #755951Northern StarGuest
What you seem to want is for your mom to agree that your sister is unreasonable and an uninterested parent for asking you ONCE in TWO YEARS to watch her kid for a single night when she’s in a bind.
Yeah, good luck with that.